• Campaign 2014


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    Thank you GEA Members for Voting!
    Thank you GEA 2014 Election Volunteers for your work! You helped our candidates win!
    Thank you parents and community members for voting for Gary Woods and Rob Shield!


Recent Articles

Bargaining Update: November 13, 2014

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt (GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina, Jay Tweet, Angela Sciacqua-Smith

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), John Rajcic, Robin Ballarin, Maria Vidal-Fowler

GEA met with district representatives from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

1. EL Coordinator

  • The district brought information on EL release periods (actual current release periods compared to district budgeted release periods).
  • The district proposed that all EL Coordinators receive 1 period of release per site, with the exception of ECVHS getting 5 periods of release.
  • GEA proposed that EL coordinators be paid at their hourly rate for meetings outside of the contract day beginning July 1.
  • GEA also proposed that EL coordinators be given release periods based on the number EL and RFEP students in their program:
    • 1 release per 21 students up to 99 students
    • 2 periods for programs with between 100 and 199 students.
    • 3 periods for programs with over 199 to 299 students etc.

2. Infinite Campus Coaches

  • GEA proposed that Infinite Campus Coaches receive $500 compensation for the first semester, and two coaches at each site receive $1000 for the second semester.
  • GEA proposed that Tech Coordinators receive an increase to their stipend from $1500 to $3000 for the current year due to an increase in duties related to Infinite Campus.

3. GATE Coordinator

  • GEA proposed that GATE Coordinators be paid a stipend of $800 plus $.50 per duplicated student count from AP and Honors classes.
  • The district proposed adding the current compensation ($800 plus about $.43 per duplicated student) to the contract.

4. Benefits

  • The district agreed to pay the increases in health benefits to maintain the district paid 100% employee only costs, and the district paid 80% dependent coverage costs - valued at $2.6 million more than the district paid last year.
  • Monthly deductions are attached.

5. MOU

  • The district and GEA agreed to the following terms:
    • The attached healthcare rates would go into effect for 2015.
    • Current compensation practice for GATE Coordinators would be unchanged, but would be memorialized in an MOU.
    • All IC coaches would receive $500 for the first semester.
    • Two IC coaches per site will be asked to perform additional duties during the spring semester for an additional $1000.
    • Tech Coordinators, due to additional duties with the implementation of Infinite Campus, will receive an additional $1500 stipend this year.
    • Tech Coordinator duties and stipend for next year will be bargained in 2015, along with IC coaches (if the position is deemed necessary) for 2015-16 and beyond.
    • EL Coordinators be paid at their hourly rate for meetings outside of the contract day.
    • The district and GEA will continue to discuss EL Coordinator release periods in the spring.

Other topics not yet discussed due to lack of time included (but were not limited to) Substitutes, Responsible Use Policy, PBIS Coordinators, Four and Nine Week D & F Notices, and several more items.


2014  2015 Tenthly Payroll Deductions

Alpine Unification and the Grossmont District School Board Elections

Alpine Unification and the Grossmont District School Board Elections

From Dick Hoy - Vice President, Grossmont Union High School board of Trustees

The primary responsibility of school board trustees is to ensure a quality education for all students in their district.  In order to meet that goal they must see to the fiscal wellbeing of the district’s annual operating budget as well as the proper utilization of bond funds.  Unfortunately the current election and the potential unification of Alpine threaten the financial stability of the Grossmont district as well as the quality of education for all its students.

Bond Proposition U, passed in 2008, called for the building an 800 student high school in Alpine contingent upon the enrollment at the 9 comprehensive and 2 charter high schools being at the 2008 level when bids were let for the actual construction of the high school.   Between 2008-11, the purchase of a site was completed, permits were obtained, and school designs were prepared.  During that time enrollment was at or above the trigger number, but starting in 2012 declining enrollment hit the district hard.  Since construction bids had not been issued yet, the school was put on hold per the bond language.  Currently the district is over 2,000 students below the 2008 level.  Do you build a new high school when you have lost the equivalent of a high school?

The Alpine Union School District is also declining in enrollment at an alarming rate.  Today, Alpine can barely financially support its existing elementary schools. Its district finances are in shambles. This year’s fix is to reduce staff pay, decrease benefits, and shorten the school year for students. Only 6 months ago, Alpine experienced the first San Diego County teacher strike in 18 years. Can Alpine be trusted to build and staff a high school and meet increased operating expenses?

Education Code 35560 provides that a new Alpine Unified School District would be entitled the land purchased for the school, worth about $23 million, and less than $6 million in cash.  The proponents of Alpine unification, however, want the Grossmont district to handover the land and $70 million in cash so that they can build a high school.  They claim that, unless they get the entire amount, unification will be futile.  Where would that amount come from?  If it came from the yearly operating budget, the Grossmont District would go bankrupt.  If it came from bond funds it would not only circumvent Grossmont District voter approved bond language requiring a minimum enrollment, but would be far more money than was ever discussed for building the Alpine school during the 8 years that I have been on the board.  A third option, a combination of general funds and bond funds just compounds the problem for the 95% of the students who would remain in the Grossmont District.

What makes the unification proposal even worse is that its supporters want the unification election to include only Alpine residents.  The taxpayers of the entire district will be affected by unification.  Millions of dollars could be transferred to a new Alpine district and taxpayers throughout the Grossmont district will be on the hook for the bond payback for many years to come.  Shouldn’t all the district voters be given the right to vote on unification?  I certainly believe so.

Now we come to the current board elections.

Two candidates are siding with Alpine unification proponents and their effort to get some $70 million from district taxpayers while disenfranchising 95% of the voters.

Three candidates, Rob Shield, Jim Kelly, and Gary Woods want to protect the best interests of the Grossmont District and the 95% of the voters who reside outside of Alpine.  They want all district voters to weigh in on unification.  They care about the education of all students.  They want to protect Grossmont, Valhalla, El Cajon Valley, Helix, West Hills, El Capitan,  Santana, Steele Canyon, Granite Hills, Monte Vista and Mount Miguel high schools from the financial disruption that a unification settlement beyond that provided in the Ed. Code would cause.  I believe the choice is clear!  Shield, Kelly, and Woods for the Grossmont Union High School Board of Trustees.

Impact of an Alpine Injunction

Impact of Alpine Injunction  Page 1Impact of Alpine Injunction  Page 2Impact of Alpine Injunction  Page 3

Bargaining Update: October 13, 2014

Bargaining Update

October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 - Bargaining Update

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina, Jay Tweet, Angela Sciacqua-Smith, Laura Bowen (CTA)

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), Tim Schwuchow, John Rajcic, Robin Ballarin

GEA met with district representatives from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

1. Benefits

  • GEA and the district went over the minor changes in wording to the Aetna plans.

2. EL Coordinator

  • The district brought historical information on EL stipends and release periods.
  • GEA asked about current numbers of EL students per site.

3. IC Teacher Coaches

  • The district is looking at changes to the support system for Infinite Campus, will have an idea what the plan is on Oct 21.

4. Substitutes

  • Many teachers were asked to cover classes on their prep period on Friday, September 26.
  • Some teachers were paid to cover classes before having covered three classes without pay as set forth in the contract, and payroll refused to honor the time sheets.
  • The district will look into this and rectify the situation.

5. Counselors

  • The district still needs to look into the issue of paying counselors for packing and unpacking.
  • There will be clerical support to check the transcripts in Infinite Campus.
  • Counselor Ratios were discussed and the 500/1 maximum student/counselor ratio.


President's Message

GEA's Endorsed Candidates' Election Update

More than 100 GEA members have made thousands of phone calls encouraging voters to elect GARY WOODS and ROB SHIELD to the Grossmont School Board!

Over the next 21 days, even more GEA volunteers will do the same. Ask your GEA School Site Rep how you can help with phone calls in support of GARY WOODS and ROB SHIELD!

Also – Use your social media to help! Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Get some GEA members together, create a sign showing your support for Gary Woods and Rob Shield and snap a quick picture. Then post it on GEA's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gea.action
  • You can also share the message by posting your snap shot on your facebook cover image
  • Share the GEA Action Facebook page by posting it on your Facebook timeline.

Sample Facebook posts:

I stand with GEA members in support of the election of Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont School Board.

GEA has my support in electing Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont School Board. It impacts students, educators, and parents alike.

Join me and my colleagues in the Grossmont District. Elect Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont District School Board!

In solidarity,

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Grievance Settlement

This past summer, three grievances were filed on behalf of GEA Members. The three grievances were resolved with the following agreements:

    1. The GEA members who taught summer school in 2014 will be paid a 3.5% salary increase for working from July 1, 2014 through July 14, 2014. The Grossmont District had in the past not provided salary improvements for summer pay until the summer following a salary settlement. That was part of our old contract language. The new summer school language that members ratified in June 2014 did not include any salary delay. GEA argued that all employees receive their salary increase starting July 1 - and GEA members should be treated no differently. The District agreed to this change. The district verified that a retro payment will be made for the salary adjustment for those who taught 2014 summer school on their October pay warrant.
    2. Valhalla teachers worked for one additional hour beyond their standard work week (beyond their restructured schedule) during CA State mandated testing in the 2013-14 school year. The District agreed to pay Valhalla teachers their per diem rate for one additional hour. GEA has asked the district to verify that a retro payment will be made for one additional hour for Valhalla teachers at their hourly rate in the October pay warrant.
    3. In the 2013-14 school year, GEA members were asked to teach during their prep hours for their colleagues who were attending professional development. GEA learned that frequently 25 to 50 teachers did not have substitute coverage, and there were not enough substitutes to cover their school business absence. No records were kept of the many hours of coverage teachers provided. The district took advantage of contract language that said the district did not have to pay teachers who covered classes during their prep period for "unanticipated" absences. GEA pointed out that professional growth absences - ARE ANTICIPATED - and do not qualify as "UNANTICIPATED." Therefore teachers cannot be asked to cover for their colleagues during their prep periods for professional development absences. The district agreed to the following:
        1. A centralized calendar will be created so that multiple professional development events are not scheduled on the same day, creating a substitute shortage.
        2. The district will recruit more substitutes. The district recognizes that due to a shortage of substitutes, surrounding districts are offering high rates of pay to substitutes when they are running professional growth training (San Diego City pays $144 per day). The district agrees that it must plan for the cost of substitutes when offering professional growth to employees, as other districts have.
        3. There will be a rotation for GEA members who are asked to substitute during their prep periods for their colleagues for unanticipated absences. The same GEA members should not be asked to give up their prep period a second time before all others have been asked to cover once.
        4. If there is a shortage of substitutes on a day when professional growth events are scheduled, and a teacher does not have a substitute - that teacher will return to their regular assignment.

No more than 40 students per class:
GEA is working with the district to reduce the number of classes that are over the cap of 40 students.

Counselor ratios:
GEA asked that the district provide enrollment numbers by school site to review counselor/student ratios.

November election:
GEA provided lunch to members during a GEA lunch meeting at all district school sites over the past two weeks. If you missed those meetings, be sure to ask your GEA Rep for important information on the November election, and how it could impact Grossmont District students and employees in future years. Be sure to share GEA's recommendations for the November elections with colleagues, friends, neighbors and family members. Information is available at GEA-Action.org.

Grants / Class Size / Contract / GEA Lunch meetings

Hello GEA Members,

Welcome to the new school year!

This message contains information on:

1. A Stipend opportunity - Common Core Curriculum - Instructional Leaders needed - CTA/Stanford Grant to Support Common Core Curriculum Units

2. GEA Monitoring of class size with the Grossmont District

3. GEA Contract

4. Watch for an invite to a GEA lunch meeting (lunch provided) at your site soon.


1. CTA/Stanford Grant to Support Common Core Curriculum Units -- Teacher "Instructional" Leaders are needed to help implement the Common Core Standards throughout the state of California. You can submit names as a team. The team can include administrators. A stipend is included.

The deadline is September 17!!! See the attached application - for the project description of a grant that CTA, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), and the National Board Resource Center (NBRC) received to create an Instructional Leadership Corps (ILC) of accomplished classroom teachers, site leaders, administrators and higher education professionals. The ILC will provide expertise for the instructional shifts needed to implement the CCSS in ELA and Mathematics, and the NGSS; support the design and implementation of school-based professional learning around instructional practice; and create and lead regional professional development. Teachers chosen to participate in the ILC will receive a stipend of $2,000 for the first year. The online applications is located at: https://stanforduniversity.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5oojo9AvOMsay0Z.

Please contact Marlene Fong, IPD Consultant for Region 2, at: mfong@cta.org<mailto:mfong@cta.org> if you have any questions.

2. GEA will be meeting with the district after the second week of school to make sure that all classes with over 40 students have been balanced to no more than 40. It is a contract violation to have more than 40 students in all classes except PE and performing arts, and it is not safe or fair to our students to have more than 40 students in a room.

3. The new GEA contract will be posted soon on GEA-Action.org.

4. GEA lunch meetings are planned for September -- Lunch will be provided -- Watch your emails for more information.


Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Supreme Court Ruling regarding Union Dues and Fair Share (for non-union members)

Hello GEA Members,

A very important Supreme Court ruling was issued on Monday, June 30, 2014. The case was called Harris v. Quinn and it had to do with union dues.

Briefly - the Supreme Court upheld an earlier case called the 1977 Abood case, which set up the requirement that a union – as the exclusive bargaining agent – had to represent all employees, both union and non-union members. In return for being the exclusive agent for all employees, the union could have union dues and fair share fees (agency fees paid by non union members) deducted from employee paychecks. This fee structure insured that the costs of bargaining contracts and providing other representation services would be fairly paid for by all who benefited.

As GEA President, I am very proud that the Grossmont Education Association has a very high percentage of union members. Of our 880 member bargaining unit, 94 percent are GEA members. That shows that GEA members stand together, unified to support each other with contract negotiations and work place relations and conditions.

In Harris v Quinn, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in support of eight health care workers who did not want to join a union that would have represented their interests a the bargaining table. Their case was funded by an anti-union organization.

Some of you may have worked in a job that had no union. Unions represent the interests of all members to insure fair and equal treatment in the work place. Often people working the same job in a non-union environment earn less in salary and have worse work conditions than those who benefit from union representation and membership. One can argue that unions help protect the middle class.

There are some very wealthy people who have funded court cases to challenge union dues and fair share fees collections. You can read about one such group who supported bringing Harris v Quinn to the Supreme Court, and how CTA fought to defend your interests and your union in this case, in the articles following this message.

Watch your emails and the GEA-Action.org Website for updates during the summer.

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Here follow two informative articles: